KARACHI: 150 years old Christian divorce bill is likely to be replaced in Pakistan as the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government is going to propose a historic legislation which claims to improve lives of four million Christians living in Pakistan.
Writer Yaqoob Khan Bangash, who has also proposed changes in the Christian divorce bill, in his article on a local news website said that Federal Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari will soon float the Christian Marriage and Divorce Act, 2019 for adoption in the National Assembly.
This bill, if passed, will replace the Christian Divorce Act, 1869 and the Christian Marriage Act, 1872. The Christian community has been being governed by this law for about 150 years. The old law does not allow any Christian to divorce his/ her spouse, but under very specific circumstances.
The new law regarding divorce gained impetus after a Christian Ameen Masih moved the Lahore High Court in 2016 seeking divorce from his wife without levelling any charge on her. He had said that he only wanted to dissolve his marriage without alleging his wife of adultery.
Almost all Catholic and some Protestant churches treat marriage as an undissolvable agreement and only allow divorce on the basis of adultery or rape. More than 50 percent Pakistani Christians are Catholic.
On July 12, Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari had endorsed the request for granting Pakistani citizenship to an Irish nun who has served all her life to the people of the country.
“I remember her from my days in the Murree Convent of Jesus and Mary. She was a great nun and a mentor – and Pakistan should also recognise her services,” she had tweeted.
This Shireen said after Member House of Lords and former senior cabinet minister of the United Kingdom Baroness Sayeeda Warsi had asked the Pakistani government to award Irish nun Sister Berchmans an honorary citizenship in recognition of her services in promoting interfaith relations and education in the country.